Saskatchewan

Museum celebrates '70s with display of shag rugs and wood panelling

An era that has been pilloried as the ultimate in tacky is hitting a nostalgic chord at a Saskatoon museum which has recreated a 1970's living room, complete with orange shag carpet, wood panelling and recliner chairs.
The Western Development Museum in Saskatoon has dedicated a space to the 1970s. ((Dan Kerslake/CBC))
An era that has been pilloried as the ultimate in tacky is hitting a nostalgic chord at a Saskatoon museum which has recreated a 1970s living room, complete with orange shag carpet, wood panelling and recliner chairs.

The exhibit is a salute to the often outlandish decorating style of recent memory, said Corinne Daelick, education and volunteer co-ordinator for the Western Development Museum.

"It's a three-tone orange shag rug on the floor," Daelick pointed out during a recent tour. "Wood panelling on one wall and nice orange wallpaper on two other walls."

Orange is also featured on the furniture.

Among the more iconic pieces in the display are hanging macramé plant holders.

The museum completed the look of the room with works of art created in string, as well as artistic images on black velvet.

Orange was a hot colour in the '70s, as revealed in a new exhibit at the Western Development Museum. ((Dan Kerslake/CBC))
"This is something more people can relate to now," Daelick said in explaining why a development museum would reach 40 years into the past, instead of 100. "The neat thing is, they're starting to see things that bring back their memories and it's a little something different."

The 1970s room is near the museum's new exhibits developed under the "Winning the Prairie Gamble" theme. Those displays trace 100 years of history in the west, from immigration in the early 1900s through the depression and the war years.

While the decade of platform shoes is closer in time, the items in the mock living room are special to the curators.

"Everything in the exhibit is considered an artifact now," Daelick said, adding that some items were hard to come by. "Not as easily replaceable as you might think, although some of the items in here you can find at garage sales."